Given the level of competition between retailers, as well as the new complexities of running a thriving retail business, they are smart to give themselves every possible advantage. Hiring the best retail strategists, building a robust marketing operation, and being able to spot the next trends coming are just a few. If you’re in retail, software companies can offer effective solutions to simplify your operations and boost your market position.
While many off-the-shelf solutions are available, another option to consider is having software custom-designed for you. This approach gives you the specific functions you need for your business, after-service support, and built-in features to easily expand or modify in the future. A nearshore IT development company like BairesDev works best due to a wide range of factors, including common languages, accessibility, and response speed.
Custom software applications for retailers can facilitate business functions like inventory control, customer management, accounting, and e-commerce. Here we explore specific types of retail software you can use to stay ahead of the competition.
Selling products or services online has become increasingly common for retail companies because it offers access to a global market, 24/7. Many brick-and-mortar businesses have an online sales component, while other companies have only virtual stores. Software can help with a number of e-commerce functions:
Online store creation and order processing
Using pre-built or customizable templates, you can develop an appealing and easy-to-navigate online store where customers can browse and find what they want to buy. E-commerce software also helps you fulfill orders and process payments quickly and efficiently while keeping product listings current and accurate.
Create labels and barcodes to clearly identify and track packages, as well as coordinate with third-party delivery services to ensure purchases get to your customers on time and in good condition.
An accurate accounting system, encompassing tasks like payroll, taxes, billing, and budgeting, is essential for retail businesses. Accounting software, especially programs that integrate with other systems like inventory control and payment processing, can make your business more efficient in several areas:
You can track business income and expenses, and produce a wide range of financial reports to facilitate budgeting and planning. If you link with your bank accounts, you can create more efficient billing processes.
Payroll and taxes
Software can keep your payroll management on track, including tax withholding and reporting. It can also calculate and submit sales taxes accurately and on time. Accounting software makes it easy to prepare for and file tax returns, while automated features reduce human error and help you avoid missed deadlines.
Purchasing and sales
For purchasing and sales, software can generate estimates, quotes, and proposals, and then create invoices and manage billing. When integrated with payment processing and inventory programs, it can also track sales receipts in real-time, giving you the most up-to-date information.
Knowing what and how many products you have in stock in real-time, along with which ones tend to sell more quickly or slowly, can streamline sales and ensure that your customers aren’t disappointed by lack of availability. Inventory control software can do that and more:
You can automate product tracking using barcodes, QR codes, holograms, or RFID tags to follow items across their full lifecycle. Audit trailing facilitates recalls for defects or contamination by carefully targeting only the affected products for callback.
To promote efficiency and productivity of movement through the factory or warehouse, software can create optimized routes for workers and products. Customers can follow their order status in real-time, increasing satisfaction and loyalty to your company.
Purchasing and production
When you have the capability to monitor product sales histories, you can identify best-sellers and determine how much stock to buy and when. This process allows you to plan ahead by accurately forecasting future sales based on past patterns.
Software can generate automatic shortage reports as soon as stock runs low and notify suppliers or consumers, preventing backorders and delivery delays. You can also create purchase orders using data from the inventory program.
For any type of retail, software companies play a central role in the processing of customer payments. Point of Service (POS) payment processing software, which enables payments where the transactions take place, offers the following functions:
Safely accept a wide range of payment types, including:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Contactless payment, like Apple Pay or Google Pay
- Multicurrency conversions
The wider the range of choices you offer, the fewer sales you’ll lose based on customer preferences for payment methods. Payment processing software also provides the latest in security and fraud control measures to keep your business and customers safe from hacking.
Software can save and organize purchase information, allowing you to learn about your customers through their spending habits. You can incorporate personalized rewards programs that activate at the time of payment. Receipts can be paper or digital, as appropriate, and can be customized to include special offers for repeat customers.
Payment processing software can generate a wide range of reports for use in analysis and planning, including:
- Sales summaries
- Historical comparisons
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software helps integrate all the processes across your company by collecting, storing, managing, and analyzing data from different departments in one centralized location. ERP keeps track of information like inventory, costs, and vendors.
Through its automated features, ERP supports optimized workflows, increased efficiency, and reduced human error. As a result, managers can focus on core functions and growing the business rather than on data collection and storage.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can help you create and maintain a loyal customer base by promoting good customer service, customizing communications, and boosting sales with the right offers to the right people. The following video describes what this type of software can do for you:
CRM analyzes data so you can better understand your customers and effectively engage with them. You can personalize interactions with existing and potential shoppers through targeted email marketing and promotional offers based on browsing and order histories. The resulting improved customer relationships can turn infrequent buyers into loyal brand advocates, increasing revenue, and repeat purchases.
CRM can utilize AI to provide prompt customer service and resolve issues quickly. Customers can manage and track their orders in real-time, even outside business hours.
Retail Software That’s Right for Your Business
If your business is retail, software companies can build custom applications for you that can increase sales, build customer loyalty, and optimize inventory management. Once you identify your specific requirements and decide on essential features, find a nearshore outsourcer to develop the right retail software for you.